Hyderabad: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley promised to ensure sufficient cash in banks for the launch of the Farmers Investment Support Scheme when a delegation led by the Minister for Agriculture Pocharam Srinivas Reddy and Finance Minister Etela Rajender met him in New Delhi. The State government is launching the novel initiative for farmers in May next to benefit about 71 lakh farmers.
The Cabinet Sub-Committee which was entrusted with the task of studying the investment support scheme for farmers headed by Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas decided to give the farmers an assistance of Rs 4,000 per acre, per crop, through cheques as desired by farmers across the State. The government will disburse over Rs 6,000 crore as investment support to ryots for kharif from May 1 to May 10 and another Rs 6,000 crore for rabi, which will be given in November and December.
The Cabinet Sub-Committee has tasked the two ministers with the responsibility of approaching the Centre as well as the banks seeking their support for the implementation of the scheme in the State. Even if the government is ready but the banks fail to make sufficient cash available for the scheme the initiative would be futile.
Recent cash crunch
The State Ministers apprised Jaitley of the cash crunch faced by the State during the festival season and requested him to direct banks to maintain the required cash supplies in all the districts. During the meeting the minister explained the highlights of the Farmers Investment Support Scheme and said it would be a unique experiment in the country aimed to bail out the farmers enmeshed in a web of miseries and distress resulting in suicides.
The ministers informed the Union Minister that they had already taken stock of the cash availability with the local banks and the bankers had made it clear that they were not so comfortable with the prevailing situation with regard to the cash in circulation.
Rajender informed the Union Minister that this would be a flagship scheme of the State government to revive the fortunes of farmers. The 24×7 free quality power supply scheme lunched by the State government had proved to be an overwhelming success. The government was firm on going ahead with the implementation of these two schemes at any cost, they told Jaitley. Telangana was providing the highest allocation to the farm sector and a major chunk of it was being given as subsidies to the farmers in different forms.
Later speaking to mediapersons, Finance Minister Etela Rajender said the State government was implementing several welfare programmes in the State which required the Centre’s support. “We raised this demand during the Finance Ministers meeting on Thursday with Finance Minister,” he said. Rajender said financial support was required for programmes such as Mission Bhagiratha and irrigation projects.